An expert in firearms has spoken out, saying that actor Alec Baldwin broke a key gun safety rule when a prop gun he used killed his cinematographer on set.
Bryan Carpenter of Dark Thirty Film Services mentioned that, while the investigation is ongoing, there was a clear lack of respect for gun safety standards on the part of Baldwin, resulting in the death of one person and the injury of another Thursday. "Loaded or unloaded, a weapon never gets pointed at another human being," said Carpenter. Even on a film or TV set, he said "you never let the muzzle of a weapon cover something you don't intend to destroy."
According to the New York Post, Peter Lake, a former filmmaker and member of the US National Shooting Team, commented: "I can’t think of any reason there would be a live round anywhere on set. They are generally prohibited from movie sets. There is no explanation I can think of why there would be a live round in a gun on set. You certainly wouldn’t have it in the hands of an actor."
Carpenter pointed out, however, that even if the weapon somehow wound up with a live round in it, the incident shouldn't have happened the way it did.
The issue Carpmenter said is that the gun was "obviously pointed at another human being," by Baldwin, which breaks the most important safety rule for firearms use, on or off a Hollywood set: one is not supposed to point a gun at someone unless he or she has intent to pull the trigger.
The prop gun in question which eventually fired the bullet that took cinematographer Halyna Hutchins's life and wounded director Joel Souza had misfired three times previously on that set. Set workers had also ironically staged a walkout that same day, protesting the set's lack of proper safety precautions.